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Driving sober this holiday season

MADD, Novant Health encourage motorists to “tie one on for safety”


Every day in America, 28 people die as a result of drunk-driving crashes, and a person is injured in a drunk-driving crash every two minutes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Some of the most dangerous days of the year on roadways are between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

Each holiday season, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) promotes Tie One On For Safety, a public awareness campaign urging drivers to display a red ribbon on their cars as a reminder to plan ahead for a designated non-drinking driver, and to support law enforcement crackdown efforts.

This year, Novant Health is partnering with MADD for the campaign at its facilities throughout Charlotte, North Carolina, including Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center and Novant Health Matthews Medical Center.

“Since we’re in the middle of the holiday season, we felt this was an important initiative to help educate Novant Health team members and visitors to our hospital facilities,” said Phil Angelo, regional trauma manager. “Our trauma team members are passing out red ribbons at our facilities in Charlotte, reminding people of the dangers of drunk driving.”

How to spot a drunk driver

MADD warns motorists to watch for these drunk-driving signs:

  • Quick acceleration or deceleration
  • Tailgating
  • Weaving or zigzagging across the road
  • Driving anywhere other than on a road designated for vehicles
  • Almost striking an object, curb or vehicle
  • Stopping without cause or erratic braking
  • Drifting in and out of traffic lanes
  • Signaling that is inconsistent with driving actions
  • Slow response to traffic signals
  • Straddling the center lane marker
  • Driving with headlights off at night
  • Swerving
  • Driving slower than 10 mph below the speed limit
  • Turning abruptly or illegally
  • Driving into opposing traffic on the wrong side of the road

What to do if you see a drunk driver

  • MADD advises that if you suspect a motorist is intoxicated, you should follow these tips:
  • Stay as far away from the other vehicle as possible.
  • Do not try to pass the vehicle or signal the driver to pull over. Doing so could result in a collision.
  • Take notice of the license plate number, along with the details of the vehicle (make, model and color). Do not compromise your own safety to get this information.

Pull over and call 911. Give the exact location of the vehicle (name of road or cross streets, and direction the vehicle is traveling).

“We really want to encourage our community members to drive safe and sober this holiday season and throughout the year,” said Angelo. “It’s also important to be an active observer on the roadways and call 911 if you think you see someone driving while intoxicated.”





Published: 12/15/2014